Purple Iris – Love The Light And Shadows

I just finished this Purple Iris based on a photo by Terry Krysak at PaintMyPhoto.  People asked how I select my paintings and I tell you it is all about the light.  I search for hours for an image that stops me in my tracks and this one did it.

Purple Iris smlr

It’s 11 x 14 Alcohol Ink on Yupo Paper – I’ll repost the image once I get it scanned but I just couldn’t wait to share.


Lord Fix A Duck Part 2

In Part 1 I used videos to demonstrate several techniques using alcohol inks on Yupo paper.  My intent was to paint a loose, free flowing image with just the essence of the subject. Unfortunately, my nature is to paint in detail so the flowing part will have to be the background and the detail section will need more work to make me happy.

Here’s where I was at the end of Part 1 (A) the reference photo (B) by Paul Sherman.

Here’s what I decided needed to be fixed (C):

What Needs To Be Fixed
(C) Click to Enlarge

It can really be helpful to figure out how to fix mistakes. Some of this I have on this video (7 min) including how I used the Adirondack fillable pen to make the water lines originally and to fix the waterline.  The waterline is higher than where the reflection is for the duck because the duck is not jammed up against the reeds but is forward of them. Also on the video is how to increase the contrast by darkening the “reeds.”

Password is DUCK3

Here’s where we were at the end of Part 1 (A) and now with the finished painting. (D)
(Click to enlarge)

It’s never too late to make changes.

How To Paint Fur Part 2

This is part 2 of How To Paint Fur. In part one we looked at how to see fur length and direction and how to prepare to paint our picture.




Starting with the ear on the right, this is very short fur without a lot of obvious strokes. Start by laying down a wash of the lightest color. I used a brush and Spectrum Noir refill GB1. (F)

(Click to enlarge the images)


G Short hair, layers and dotsAdd more colors to mix together for the ear and darker colors for the upper ear, leaving the base color in the lightest spot. (G) As long as there is not a lot of alcohol ink the ink, they dry quickly allowing you to add lots of different layers.  If you are using Adirondacks, place the ink in a welled palette an allow the alcohol to evaporate off until you see dark, concentrated color around the rim. Dip your brush into that to paint.

Dots and lines of sepia pen were added.  They can be blended in later.

I like to paint the eyes in so I can “visit” with my subject.  I was surprised to see the brown in with the black in the photograph.

A base color where the light is shining was added in the right hand forehead with a different base color above the eye.

HAdd brush strokes for the next darkest color paying attention to the length and direction. (H)






Add a bit of Le Pen (sepia that turns purple) to emphasize the length and direction and add more marker colors. (J)



Add a based color for the forehead. (M)  Sepia pen for the dark spots. (N)  More colors in the forehead (O) Copic E79 for darker in the forehead. (P)  There were lots of “V’s” in the fur.

Lay down a based color for the neck. (Q)  Start brush strokes for the right side of the face (R) Use the blending pen to tone down the sepia in the upper right forehead.  Added more browns and grays on the right side of the face.

S base of ear


I hope you get the idea.  Here is a close up of the base color for the left-hand ear.  Start light and then work your way darker.



NoseI got to paint the nose. How much fun.  As I explored the photograph I found lots of blues and purples in there.  I also used the Chameleon blending pen to soften the colors on the left side of the nose.




eyesHere’s a close up of the eyes. I was surprised to see all the brown with the black in the photograph.


Other steps were to use really long strokes on the neck.  When I was almost done I went back and compared the values (lights and darks) to the photographs.  I ended up using a lot of medium gray (SN BG6) to darken areas that were too light and light yellow (SN CT1) for areas that needed more sunshine. Final step was a very fine Marvy Uchida Le Pen for the whiskers.

Finished Painting
Finished Painting





Easy Stencils Step by Step

Stencils can be fun and quite easy to work with.

Stencil flower

For this piece I took a scrap of Yupo laying around. (We all have plenty of these).

Flower Stencil 1

I moved the stencil around to find pretty areas revealed through the holes in the stencil.

Flower Stencil 2

Traced the inside with a white gel pen.

Flower Stencil 3

Use a black marker and Adirondack Pitch Black to hide everything else.

Flower Stencil 4

Placed the image on a golden mat to see how it would look.

Stencil flower

Easy and fun.

Playing with Stencils and How Transparent is 62# Yupo?

Inspired by Cathy Taylor’s Pigments of Your Imagination”  I decided to try Working with Stencils on 62# Yupo paper.

I’ve always been attracted to this stencil with aspen treesHere’s the link to purchase this stencil – $6.


Tree Stencil smlr

I took a 6×6 sheet of 62# Yupo, placed the stencil on top and started blotting with Watermelon, Honeycomb, and Botanical.  It was cool to see the ink puddle under the stencil.  I pushed the bubbles around and then left it to dry.

The image was revealed by pulling the stencil off.  It was tacky for a couple of hours.


I’ve always wondered about the 62# Yupo. How see through is it?  I placed the aspens on several different mat board and you could really see the difference as the color from the mat changed the image.  Click through the slide show to see the results:

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Any opinions?  I’m sure some of you will come up with new ideas how to layer sheets of 62# Yupo Paper.